Patrick Achache recently attended the Berlinale press conference for Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Hail, Caesar!” The film stars Channing Tatum, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Alden Ehrenreich and Hollywood’s face of humanitarian conscience, George Clooney, who discussed the current refugee crisis in Europe.
However, at one point in the press conference, Clooney was visibly irked when a Mexican journalist asked him what he was doing to assist the humanitarian crisis. He then asked her pointedly, “I’d like to know what you are doing to help the situation?” The German-based journalist then responded by telling him that she helps refugees by working with an organization in Wolfsburg from organizing movie nights to collecting toys and clothes.
Although the exchange between Clooney and the journalist was a bit intense, there were many laughs shared by the cast and the Coens as they recounted their experience working on the pic. Channing Tatum wowed the audience as he sang and danced a six-minute long routine from the movie. But it was Brolin’s response to the question about the scene in “Hail Caesar!” where he repeatedly slaps Clooney that drew loud laughs from the audience. He said “I think it’s something everyone has wanted to do for a long time. I did it for all of you.”
In 2011, the Coens kicked off with “True Grit” and this year they opened the Berlinale with “Hail, Caesar!” which touches on the Red Scare in the 1950’s. The second pic gathered praises in Berlin. Joel Coen said that the film is a romanticized version of Hollywood in the 1950s since the audience didn’t get to live through the era. But when the Coen brothers were asked how McCarthyism in the 1950s would compare to a possible presidential victory of Donald trump, Ethan said “I can’t really relate McCarthyism in the ‘50s with Donald Trump,” and Joel added “Trump getting elected is getting into the surreal.”